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Red (Herring?) Comments on a New Theory Concerning the Origin of the Triumph

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In this paper it is argued that Jörg Rüpke's proposal to date the creation of the Roman triumph to the late 4th century BC cannot be accepted. First, it is demonstrated that some of R.'s reinterpretations of the triumphal phenomenology are debatable, others improbable or inconceivable, one (the most essential) impossible. Next, a few historical implications of the new theory are shown to evoke serious questions and objections. Finally, the four major historical arguments or premises on which the theory is founded are shown to be at variance with the available evidence. Consequently, there is no reason to reject the well-founded and practically unanimously accepted idea that the triumph was introduced in the "Etruscan period" of Rome (late 6th century BC).


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